When she first shadowed a Detroit-based stylist in 2013 and began building her portfolio, Aarika Lauryn hadn’t put much thought into a career in fashion. What came next was a whirlwind though as she began to grow her clientele, signed with Factor Chosen Chicago as an artist, and attended the London College of Style. She received her diploma in Advanced Editorial Styling and Personal Styling in 2017 from the institution.
Since then, the Lansing native has worked backstage at New York and London fashion weeks with designers like Oscar de La Renta and Diesel Black Gold. And she’s styled reporters for Fox Sports: Big Noon Kickoff Show and shoots for Target X Refinery29, Mix magazine, and Hour Detroit.
She also works with people who are looking to expand or update their wardrobe but don’t have the time or know where to start. Through her Wardrobe Lookbook service, she provides an outsider’s perspective on their closets, providing insight into how they can pair together different pieces and change up their day-to-day style without spending a dime.
Whatever the task, Lauryn is devoted to helping her clients find the clothes that make them look and feel their best. “Something I run into all the time with my clients is the idea that they can’t dress the way they want,” Lauryn says. “You can show up as any version of yourself that you want to be, so breaking through those misconceptions is a big part of my job.”
Below, she shares some of her top styling advice.
Aarika Lauryn’s Style Tips
Do your research
Lauryn recommends finding inspiration through social media outlets like Pinterest, Tik Tok, and Instagram when trying to define your style before heading to the stores. By doing so, shopping becomes easier. Instead of shopping around for styles you’ve become accustomed to, she recommends honing in on those inspiration photos and finding aspects that can work for your day-to-day style. “I’m a visual person. I always tell people to put together a little collection of what you admire, and we can use that as a starting point. From there, we can find options that honor that inspiration but are still flattering.”
Experiment with different looks
Combining elements from two different styles can create an interesting look. For example, take “street chic,” which is one of the terms Lauryn uses to describe her own style. Lauryn defines this way of dressing as looks that fashion-forward New Yorkers would wear, a mixture of high and low pieces that mix fashion with streetwear. “Think Rihanna! Mixing elements that would otherwise be styled more traditional can be paired with more trendy streetwear/street style pieces. Wearing a vintage blazer with ’90s-style mom jeans and a Bottega Venetta bag and sneakers. Street chic.” If that isn’t for you, consider playing with preppy patterns, grungy silhouettes, bohemian-chic designs, or classic pieces.
Clothes fit you, not the other way around
“Size and fit denial are very common concerns I run into in styling sessions,” Lauryn says. Knowing your size can make the overall shopping experience more enjoyable. “One major way to not be overwhelmed is to know your measurements,” she adds. “Utilize the size guide that’s available online, if you know your bust, hip, and waist measurements then you’re more likely to find a size that fits you.”
Don’t worry about brand names
She also recommends focusing less on brand names, and more on what makes you feel your best. “Unless you have a specific brand that you know works great for your body type, look for things that are good quality and match what you’re going for, but don’t worry about the name on the label.” She recommends taking a gamble on a brand you’ve never tried before if you are unsatisfied with your current wardrobe. This adds variety to the closet and provides a wider range of clothing to shop from.
Stay professional, but be yourself at the office
Dressing for the office can be difficult, especially if you prefer a street-style look like Lauryn. Instead of throwing out your whole wardrobe, she recommends mixing casual pieces with a bit of professional flair. “I wear a lot of midriff shirts, so I’ll keep those but pair them with a high-waisted trouser, so nothing is actually showing.” Adding pieces like trousers, blazers, and dusters to outfits that would typically be considered streetwear can elevate the look and make it more appropriate for an office without compromising style.
Experiment with trending colors
With summer just around the corner, Lauryn is excited about the trends of the season. “I personally don’t wear a lot of color, but I’m excited to see a comeback of the retro neon colors,” she says. “It’s a great time to experiment with different colors, even if you’re just adding a pop to a neutral outfit.” From bright, electric yellows to poppy, eye-catching pinks, these colors add some intrigue to an otherwise simple outfit.
For more on Aarika Lauryn, visit styledbyaarikalauryn.com.